Black Flannel Brewing & Distilling Co. — Like drinking beer? Like eating beer? A meal at Black Flannel is full of both, with 40 taps flowing from the attached brewery and a menu infused with brews, including beer-braised pork ribs, beer-steamed mussels and trout à la plancha with beer glaze.
The brewery, restaurant and distillery in the Essex Experience hit the ground running with executive chef Trenton Endres' Scotch eggs and Welsh rarebit when it opened in July 2020. Now executive chef Christian Kruse — formerly of Basin Harbor Club and Vergennes Laundry — is putting his mark on the menu, serving wood-fired and locally sourced dishes such as charred octopus and tomato brûlée. A year after donning his flannel, Kruse earned a semifinalist nod in the Best Chef: Northeast category of the James Beard Awards.
The restaurant's expertly educated staff is quick with pairing recommendations, too, whether for a salty snack in the biergarten, brunch on the patio, or a dinner of duck confit and waffles in the spacious dining room.
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